Worcester cannabis club raises concerns
Cyrus Moulton Telegram & Gazette Staff @MoultonCyrus
WORCESTER – City officials expressed concern Tuesday that a new members-only cannabis club on Water Street exploited loopholes that allow an unregulated product to be consumed and enabled the club to skirt a public review process.
“I’m not saying he’s broken the law,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. “All we’ve said is we would prefer a bit of transparency here, a little bit of an opportunity … to ask questions.”
Kyle Moon, the general manager of the club called the Summit Lounge, said he welcomed discussion with the city. But he noted repeatedly that he was in compliance with all local and state laws.
“I think everyone has concerns around this and they all need to be brought up and addressed,” said Mr. Moon, 27, of Northbridge. “This is new territory for everyone, but right now we comply with all local ordinances and state regulations.”
The debate comes amid a larger state debate on whether regulators are moving too fast in the rollout of the state’s legal cannabis industry.
Gov. Charles D. Baker Jr. and House Speaker Robert DeLeo are among lawmakers who have called on the Cannabis Control Commission to scale back the industry envisioned in its draft regulations – which includes marijuana cafes, delivery-only marijuana businesses, and the ability for establishments such as cinemas and massage parlors to offer limited marijuana products – at least until an initial retail market takes hold. CCC Chairman Steven Hoffman said Tuesday a phased rollout would be up for debate by the commission.
But the CCC may not resolve any debate in Worcester.
“We only have enforcement over people we license, and we don’t license (the Summit Lounge) so we have no jurisdiction,” CCC spokeswoman Dot Joyce said.
The Summit Lounge opened Friday